White House meeting with pharma execs called off

July 27, 2020

A meeting between White House officials and pharma industry reps has reportedly been canceled after President Trump announced news of executive action on drug prices. 

According to Politico, executives from several pharma companies had planned a drug-pricing discussion at the White House on Tuesday. But after the Trump administration announced more details of its plans to lower drug prices, top industry lobbying groups including PhRMA and BIO declined to send its members to attend. 

The orders to lower drug prices — which have been announced but not officially released — involve several measures such as eliminating rebates, allowing imports and offering discounts for insulin and epinephrine. Analysts have pointed out that the ideas are nothing new and it is unclear how the proposals will be enforced. 

But the key sticking point for pharma industry groups is a plan to link drug prices in the U.S. to those in other countries.

One PhRMA spokesperson took aim at the order, saying, “The president’s plan to import policies from socialized health care systems abroad is disrupting our work [on COVID-19 therapies] and diverting our focus away from those life-saving efforts.” 

BIO indicated that such a rule would hurt its members the most and could undermine efforts in innovation. 

The White House said that it has left the door open to the pharma industry to produce a better plan for addressing drug costs. 

Read the full Politico report.